The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Environmental Groups Call on EPA to Ban Diesel Use in Fracking
National environmental groups called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ fluids, instead of issuing guidance for regulating the practice, following the agency’s release of draft guidance. Diesel is currently used in fracking chemical cocktails and poses serious risks to drinking water sources. EPA guidance is not enough to protect families from benzene and other highly toxic chemicals contaminating underground drinking water sources.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempted hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in the Halliburton Loophole—except when diesel is used. Recent Congressional investigations revealed diesel use in fracking fluids remains widespread. This EPA action provides guidance for using the Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control Program to protect underground sources of drinking water. The EPA announced a 60-day public comment period on the proposal.
The use of diesel in fracking fluid is just one of many harmful industry practices that the government must clean up. Strong federal protections are needed to protect American families nationwide from all of the consequences of dirty fracking.
In response, leaders from the environmental organizations calling for a ban on diesel used in fracking, released the following statements:
“It’s no secret that diesel is dirty and dangerous, and belongs nowhere near our drinking water. But the natural gas industry has been using this dangerous fuel for fracking, showing once again that they cannot be trusted to police themselves. We urge the EPA to ban diesel fracking and keep Americans’ drinking water clean and safe.” –Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club
“We applaud EPA’s action and urge the Agency to use their authority to ban diesel use and to do whatever is necessary to protect precious underground drinking water sources from chemical contamination.” –Bob Wendelgass, president of Clean Water Action
“Diesel and drinking water don't mix. Congress recognized the hazards of diesel when they passed the Halliburton loophole to the Safe Drinking Water Act. We welcome EPA's action; it's time for the oil and gas industry to clean up their act.” –Jennifer Krill, executive director of Earthworks
“Diesel fuel is not critical to fracking—with the safety threats it poses, there is no sense in allowing it to be used. We need stronger safeguards on the books to protect American health and communities from diesel threats to clean drinking water and other risks associated with fracking.” –Amy Mall, senior policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council
“Nobody wants to drink diesel-infused tap water. That’s why the oil and gas industry needs to stop pumping diesel underground during fracking. The risk to drinking water sources is too high and the oil and gas industry’s track record is too dismal. The EPA can and must ban this reckless practice.” –Jessica Ennis, legislative representative for Earthjustice
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The world awakened to the hole in the ozone layer in 1985, which scientists attributed it to ozone depleting substances. Two years later, in Montreal, the world agreed to ban the halogen compounds causing the massive hole over Antarctica. Research now shows that those chemicals didn't just cut a hole in the ozone layer, they also warmed up the Arctic.
Formosa Plant May Still Be Releasing Plastic Pollution in Texas After $50M Settlement, Activists Find
On the afternoon of Jan. 15, activist Diane Wilson kicked off a San Antonio Estuary Waterkeeper meeting on the side of the road across from a Formosa plastics manufacturing plant in Point Comfort, Texas.
After Wilson and the waterkeeper successfully sued Formosa in 2017, the company agreed to no longer release even one of the tiny plastic pellets known as nurdles into the region's waterways. The group of volunteers had assembled that day to check whether the plant was still discharging these raw materials of plastics manufacturing.
Malaysia Sends Plastic Waste Back to 13 Wealthy Countries, Says It Won’t Be 'the Rubbish Dump of the World'
The Southeast Asian country Malaysia has sent 150 shipping containers packed with plastic waste back to 13 wealthy countries, putting the world on notice that it will not be the world's garbage dump, as CNN reported. The countries receiving their trash back include the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada.